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Sat 29 Oct 2022

3:00 PM - 9:00 PM (UTC+5.5)

Symposium on Indic Fragrance and Flavours

Sugandha, Surabhi, Parimala, Aamoda are just a few of the numerous Sanskrit words for fragrance, with fragrance occupying significant place right from the Veda mantras through Itihasas, Puranas and Aagamas to ancient Sanskrit poetic works. In the famous and popular Rig Veda mantra “oṃ tryámbakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhíṃ puṣṭi-vardhánam urvārukam íva bandhánān mṛtyor mukṣīya mā ‘mṛtā́t” among the two qualities of tryambaka, the first mentioned is Sugandhi = the fragrant one.

The Yajnas were known for their diffusion of fragrance from the material offered into the fire as offerings to various Devatas. Hindu temple and household worship rituals are characterized by the offerings of the fragrant material through dhoopa, aarati, teertha and prasaada. Ayurveda devotes a significant portion of its wellness system to Aroma therapy outlining the details of different kinds of aromas that can heal various ailments. The Brihat Samhita has chapters on fragrance, Gandhayukti. Indian culinary science always incorporated Sugandha dravyas, i.e., spices in a big way giving Indian cuisine its characteristic flavor. More significantly, it is the Indian spice trade that contributed to the economy during ancient and medieval times compelling Europeans to find sea routes to India. There are detailed descriptions of how herbal powders and pastes were intensely used in the personal daily embellishment of Indians, particularly women. Aphrodisiac effects of fragrance are so well incorporated into the Hindu imagination/mind that Manmatha, the god of eros is viewed as flower-arrowed. In all the rituals and cultural traditions of all the components /strands of the Hindu cultural complex like Vaidika, Jaanapada (folk), Aaranya/ Paarvata(tribal), the fragrant material plays a vital role through their psychosomatic and magical/ supernatural effects.

The symposium is being organised in collaboration with Vigirom Pvt Ltd ( VPL) Bengaluru. VPL was established by Late Sri K. Vijayakumar, a veteran of the Indian Perfume Industry.  Sri K. Vijaykumar who studied in the School of Perfumery, France was also well versed in the use of fragrances and flavours in the Indian ethos. He was very keen on exploring this topic as it has not received due attention from the scholars. INDICA is now pleased to collaborate with Vigirom in organising this event and bringing his desire to fruition. The event will be held on 29th October.



3.00 – 3.10 Welcome Shri Hari Kiran
Founder, Indic Academy
3.11 – 3.15 Opening Remarks and Intro to Keynote speaker Smt Vijayalakshmi Vijayakumar
 Co-founder – Director, Centre for Soft Power (CSP)
3.15 – 3.45 Keynote Address Mr. Maurizio Volpi, President, Fragrance & Beauty Givaudan International, Switzerland
3.50 – 3.53 VoT & Introduction to the panel – Fragrance in folk traditions Prof Nagaraj Paturi
Director, Indic Academy
3.53 – 3.55 Introduction to the panelist Varsha V
Research Associate, CSP
3.55 – 4.15 Fragrance in Folk Traditions Dr. Janardhan Ghosh, Performing Artist, Academic, Theatre Artist & Storyteller
4.15 – 4.25 Q&A
4.26 – 4.33 VoT & Introduction to the panel – Fragrance, an Integral Aspect of Worship: Prof Nagaraj Paturi
4.33 – 4.35 Introduction to the panelists Varsha V
4.35 – 4.55 Fragrance, an Integral Aspect of Worship: Paancharatra Shri MA Madhusudhanan, Vaishnavite Scholar
4.56 – 5.15 Fragrance, an Integral Aspect of Worship: Shaiva Dr. T. S. Shanmukha Sivacharya, Acharya, Sri Kalikambal Temple, Chennai
5.15 – 5.25 Q&A
5.26 – 5.33 VoT & Introduction to the panel – Fragrance in Sanskrit Literature Prof Nagaraj Paturi
5.33 – 5.35 Introduction to Panelist Varsha V
5.35 – 5.55 Fragrance in Sanskrit Literature Dr. M.A Alwar
Professor at Maharaja Sanskrit College, Mysore
5.55 – 6.05 Q&A
6.06 – 6.13 Introduction to Panel – Aroma and Ayurveda  Smt Vijayalakshmi Vijayakumar
6.13 – 6.15 Introduction to Panelist Varsha V
6.15 – 6.35 Aroma and Ayurveda Dr. Somit Kumar Ghosh
Director, Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Coimbatore
6.35 – 6.45 Q&A
6.46- 6.53 VoT & Introduction to the panel – Incense Industry and Indigenous Fragrances Smt Vijayalakshmi Vijayakumar
6.53 – 6.55 Introduction to the panelists Varsha V
6.55 – 7.15 Incense Industry and Indigenous Fragrances Shri Arjun Ranga  Managing Director, N Ranga Rao and Sons Pvt. Ltd.
7.16 – 7.35 Shri Yogesh Dubey President, Rakesh Sandal Industries
7.35 – 7.45 Q&A
7.46 – 7.53 VoT & Introduction to the panel – Flavours and Fragrance in Culinary Traditions  Smt Vijayalakshmi Vijayakumar
7.53 – 7.55 Introduction to Panelist Varsha V
7.55 – 8.15 Flavours and Fragrance in Culinary Traditions Smt Ammini Ramachandran
Founder, Writer, and Editor of peppertrail.com
8.25 – 8.30 VoT & Introduction to Mr Michael Carlos Smt Vijayalakshmi Vijayakumar
8.30 – 8.50 Valedictory Address Mr. Michael Carlos
Board of Directors, Givaudan
8.50 – 8.55 Vote of Thanks Prof Nagaraj Paturi



Shri Hari Kiran

Founder, INDICA

Hari Kiran Vadlamani ( Hari) is a Chartered Accountant by qualification and a serial entrepreneur, having been involved in four ventures in Technology and Energy sectors. He is deeply passionate about Art, Philosophy and Indian Cultural Heritage and is a Dharmic- Indic Liberal. In 2015 he transformed himself into a Social Entrepreneur pursuing the preservation, protection and promotion of Indian Heritage. He founded INDICA ( www.indica.in) and NICE (www.niceorg.in) , both not for profits in the area of Cultural Education and Entrepreneurship. Hari brings in an entrepreneurial mindset to his work of delivering indigenous knowledge as a service, product or an experience by incubating a portfolio of ideas, rapid prototyping, absorbing failures, applying a three horizon framework, thinking of scale etc. Having the mindset of a venture investor, Hari is focussed on backing passionate individuals. He encourages, enables and empowers them to discover, nurture and express their creative potential. He believes in transforming the narrator and not the narrative. A strong advocate of pluralism, Hari envisions a vibrant ecosystem of diverse set of players and ideas and seeks to build the enabling infrastructure. Hari believes that Indian thought and the indigenous way of life from various global traditions have solutions to some of the key challenges we face today, especially sustainability, happiness, well-being and peace. He is working on developing the requisite institutional mechanisms that can transform a billion global consumers into conscious thinkers, entrepreneurs, leaders and most importantly seekers. He has developed a unique six dimensional integral strategy for pursuing this vision.


Smt Vijayalakshmi Vijayakumar

Co-founder – Director, Centre for Soft Power (CSP)

Vijayalakshmi Vijayakumar is the Co-Founder of Center For Softpower and the founder secretary of Heritage Parampara a not-for-profit trust. She has flown powered aircrafts, played state level softball, danced Bharatanatyam, given talks on culture and heritage, organized conferences, been on the Central Film and Censor Board, the National Advisory Board for Philately and is a freelance designer and copywriter too. Heritage trust conducts two annual well-known festivals, Gudiya Sambhrama and Srishti Sambhrama, the Earth Mother Festival. A third festival that premiered in 2018 was The Heritage Drive, a 1100 km motor sport rally that took participants to heritage temples and included tree planting as well. She loves story telling, her approach is creative and innovative. She is presently writing a novel based on historical events in India


Mr. Maurizio Volpi

President, Fragrance & Beauty Givaudan International, Switzerland

An Italian national Maurizio Volpi began his career in consumer goods with P&G and Reckitt Benckiser in Italy, working in various marketing roles. Now President of Givaudan’s Fragrance Division, Maurizio’s illustrious Givaudan history began in 2000, where he worked in sales for three years before moving to France where he worked in senior positions across marketing, sales and later, as Head of Europe and Head of Fragrance and Beauty. As of 2015, Maurizio is based out of Geneva, and spends his day-to-day working alongside his team at different levels, on commercial and innovation strategies, operations, talent management and manufacturing, endeavouring to “make sure that the numbers square.” He notes: “We are lucky to work in this competitive industry - the nature of the sector forces us to form strong bonds as a team, in pursuit of the same goal.” Maurizio takes great pride in the end-product, describing it as “a truly beautiful thing, made with know how”, naming it as his favourite aspect of his profession, alongside customers. When it comes to his scent preferences, Maurizio favours tonka bean and musks, and the reassuring, rounded aspects of bar soaps and fabric conditioners. Outside of work, Maurizio is an avid football fan and keen supporter of A.C Milan, and can otherwise be found perusing museums.


Prof Nagaraj Paturi

Senior Director, INDICA

Trained in Sanskrit and Advaita Vedanta by his hyper-polyglot, polymath and spiritually accomplished sakala-shaastra-paarangata father, late Sri Paturi Sitaramanjaneyulu garu, Dr Nagaraj Paturi is seriously committed to the transmission of Vedic sciences to the present generation. In his PhD thesis (1998, University of Hyderabad), he developed an Indic Model of Myth Criticism of Literature and in his MPhil (1987, University of Hyderabad), he foregrounded Vakyapadiya as the theoretical foundation of the Ashtadhyayi. In addition to over 50 publications and about 60 conference/seminar/workshop papers, Dr Paturi has designed several courses pertaining to the contemporary applications of Vedic Sciences and has been successfully teaching them and getting them taught. Formerly Senior Professor of Cultural Studies FLAME School of Communication (& FLAME School of Liberal Education) and a Visiting Professor, University of Chicago (USA), Dr Paturi is currently Senior Director and Chief Curator at INDICA, a Distinguished Professor, Curriculum Designer, Executive Committee Member, Board of Studies, MIT School of Vedic Sciences (Pune, Maharashtra), Member, Board of Studies at Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University (Ramtek, Maharashtra) and Rashtram School of Public Leadership (Sonipat, Haryana). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of International Journals of Studies in Public Leadership and is a member of the Advisory Council of Veda Vijnana Shodha Samsthanam (Bengaluru, Karnataka). He has provided consultancy to numerous culture research, theatre, and dance innovation projects. He has authored scores of creative writing works for Classical Dance, Modern Theater, and magazines and has delivered several series of talks and other programs on Radio and Television channels.


Varsha V

Research Associate, CSP

Varsha Venkataraman is a graduate in Applied Microbiology and Cancer Studies. She has avid interest in Ayurveda and wishes to focus on the integrative approach of ayurveda and modern medicine in the treatment of cancer. Away from work, she is avid reader and enjoys a game of cricket. Twitter handle: @VarshaVRaman


Dr. Janardhan Ghosh

Performing Artist, Academic, Theatre Artist & Storyteller

Dr Janardan Ghosh is a performing artist, academic, theatre director, film actor, playwright, performance coach and storyteller (Katha ‘Koli, a new art of storytelling) whose practice includes the use of traditional theories, contemporary performance vocabulary, and interactive media. His research- based work engages the indigenous practice methods in urban spaces exploring the perspectives of historicity, spiritual consciousness, intertextual dialogue, and body-space dynamics of myths, tales and gossips. Indeed much of his past work has explored the themes of spirituality, myth, gender, sexuality and society. He has completed his doctorate in Performance and Spirituality from the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University. He has worked with legendary theatre practitioners like Wlodzimierz Staniewski (Poland), Wulfgung Kolneder(Germany), Anjan Dutta(India) and Badal Sirkar(India). He is Teaching & Research Associate with RKM Vivekananda University, Creative Director of OGLAM & Culture Monks. Have acted in plays, web series and award winning movies. Have been awarded for Performance in Education for Social change by Monash University, Australia and The Telegraph. He is launching his next performance of Katha ‘Koli Storytelling in Rasa Festival, Michigan. He is working on his new research based production on Changing Narratives of Ramayana. He is also assisting ICCR Durban to produce their show on Swami Vivekananda. Notably, recently, a film where he played one of the leading roles – Kaalkokkho, has been selected for the competitive section of the Busan Film Festival, South Korea, 2021, IFFI, Goa and International Film Festival, Dhaka.


Shri MA Madhusudhanan

Vaishnavite Scholar

Sri MA Madhusudhanan is a traditional vaishnavaite Scholar who has undergone the study of religious scriptures under his illustrious father Dr MA Venkatakrishnan. At a young age, He has learnt Nalayira Divyaprabandam and portions of Vedas and is regular in participating in Ghosti services at Temples of Triplicane, Kanchipuram etc. A Software engineer by Profession, He has ambitions to do lot of services for Vaishnavism and to spread the concepts everywhere. Apart from traditional study, He also holds MA degrees on Vaishnavism and Sanskrit offered by various reputed Universities. He is delivering lectures regularly in Tamil and English on various subjects of Vaishnavism like Thiruppavai, Sri Ramayanam, Sri Bhagwat Gita and on other DivyaPrabhandhams and vyakyanams


Dr. T. S. Shanmukha

Sivacharya, Acharya, Sri Kalikambal Temple, Chennai

Dr. T. S. Shanmukha Sivacharyar is the hereditary acharya of Sri Kalikambal Temple, Chennai. He is a Siromani from the Madras Sanskrit College. He holds a Masters degree in Sanskrit from the Department of Sanskrit, University of Madras and a PhD for his thesis on 'Utsavas in Kamikagama.' He writes extensively in many publications and seeks to bring ancient wisdom to the modern world.


Dr. M.A Alwar

Professor at Maharaja Sanskrit College, Mysore

Dr. Alwar is a professor of Nyāyaśāstra in the Govt. Maharaja’s Sanskrit College, Mysuru and a Hon. Director of Transdisciplinary University, Bengaluru, implementing projects related to cataloguing, editing, publishing manuscripts and framing curriculum in Āyurveda. He has authored several monographs, articles and presented several papers in academic congregations related to Darśaṇās. A dynamic scholar, he is active both in spheres of academic research and in traditional vidvat-sabhās alike. He specialises in the fields of Navya-nyāya, Prācīna-nyāya, Viśiṣṭādvaita-vedānta, Manuscriptology, Lexicography and comparative study and application of ancient Indian scientific concepts to modern science, especially Computer Science. He is a visiting faculty at Maharashtra Institute of Technology, School of Vedic Sciences (MIT SVS) to teach Vedas and Nyāya.


Dr. Somit Kumar Ghosh

Director, Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Coimbatore

Dr. Somit Kumar currently works as the Director and Chief Scientific Officer at the Clinical Research and Pharmaceutics, AVP Research Foundation. He received BAMS degree from Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Vishwa Mahavidyalaya, Kanchipuram in 2005 and his MD from Rajiv Gandhi Univ of Health Sciences, Bengaluru . He has also done PG Certificate course of Clinical Research and Clinical Data Management from Pune in 2007.


Shri Arjun Ranga

Managing Director, N Ranga Rao and Sons Pvt. Ltd.

Arjun Ranga is the Partner of NR Group, the makers of ‘Cycle Pure Agarbathi’. He began his career as a business analyst at Chemical Marketing Resources in Houston, USA. He holds an Engineering Degree in Polymer Science and Technology from SJCE Mysore and an MBA in International Business and Strategy from the Thunderbird School of Business, Phoenix, USA. He is the Chairman of CII – Karnataka State Council for 2022-23 and the current President of the All India Agarbathi Manufacturers Association (AIAMA). As the world’s largest incense manufacturer, the NR Group is committed to providing hope for future generations by following ethical and sustainable business practices. Cycle Pure Agarbathi is the world’s first certified Zero Carbon Manufacturer of incense, prayer and air care products. A successful entrepreneur and a devoted family man, Arjun is also an avid sportsman, having captained teams in eight different games/sports during his college days. He continues to pursue this passion by playing golf and tennis regularly.


Smt Ammini Ramachandran

Founder, Writer, and Editor of peppertrail.com

Ammini Ramachandran is the founder, writer, and editor of Pepeprtrail.com that she launched in 1999, and the author of the award winning book Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts: Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy. The website has three segments –Treasures from the Past segment explores India’s ancient culinary history through articles, stories, and recipes. Along the Peppertrail introduces the reader to Kerala’s cultural and culinary traditions and history through articles and recipes. And Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts segment is an overview of her cookbook on Kerala’s vegetarian cuisine. Ammini’s recipes appear in The Essential New York Times Cookbook: The Recipes of Record published by the New York Times and The Flavors of Asia published by the Culinary Institute of America. Ammini’s articles have appeared in Zester Daily, Flavor & Fortune, Gastronomica, and Heritage India. She was a presenter at the tenth annual Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival – Rise of Asia –at The Culinary Institute America. She was a featured presenter for The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, American Institute of Wine and Food, Dallas, and the Houston Culinary Guild. In May 2021 she was a speaker at Thinnai Kucini: Seeds of Change organized by Le Thinnai Kreyol, an online cultural platform. In December 2021 she was a speaker at a three day seminar – The Science and Art of Ayurvedic Cuisine organized by Ayurvastu, Indian American School of Ayurveda based in Santiago, Chile. She has taught Indian cooking classes at Central Market Cooking Schools in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, Texas; the Institute of Culinary Education, New York and the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado.


Mr. Michael Carlos

Board of Directors, Givaudan

Michael Carlos holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and a degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. Michael Carlos started his career with Givaudan in 1984 as General Manager in Hong Kong. He became Head of the European Creative Centre in Argenteuil in 1992 where he was in charge of integrating the creative resources from Givaudan and Roure. He also holds the position of the Chairman of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA), Chairman of the Research Institute of Fragrance Materials (until November 2018), member of the Board of Manus Bio Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Scent Design SA.